For example, consumers may search for vehicles with "no reported accident" or "service records". CARFAX claims to have access to twenty billion records  from more than , sources, including motor vehicle departments for all 50 U. The company's information sources include U.
CARFAX can be a good source of information but can leave out a lot of critical information
CARFAX lists only information that is reported to them and consumers should not take this report to be a complete accident history. Under the U. Drivers Privacy Protection Act , personal information such as names, telephone numbers and addresses of current or previous owners are neither collected nor reported. In the event information is disputed but cannot be verified, CARFAX allows consumers and dealerships to add information to its reports. In a class action lawsuit, the plaintiff claimed that CARFAX violated consumer protection laws by not disclosing the limitations of their service, specifically their inability to check accident records in 23 states in the U.
The company asserts that it has major accident information from all 50 states and it backs up its claim with a buyback guarantee.
The settlement in the West v. CARFAX, Inc lawsuit was overturned, not on the merits of the issue, but on the terms of the settlement which did not offer enough to the affected consumers and because "not enough consumers were notified and the judge should not have agreed to the settlement without knowing more about what it would cost CARFAX. Brett Halfyard voices the Car Fox, Jeffrey, who was introduced in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with CarMax. This article contains content that is written like an advertisement.
Please help improve it by removing promotional content and inappropriate external links , and by adding encyclopedic content written from a neutral point of view. July Learn how and when to remove this template message. Centreville , Virginia. Archived from the original on Retrieved AutoDealer Monthly. Retrieved 22 September ABC7 San Francisco. Carfax, Inc. TV Media. It's only as good as the incidents that have been reported to the database.
If, for example, someone gets into a minor accident and decides to repair the car without involving an insurance company for fear of rates going up, the accident will not be reflected in the report. Similarly, if the body shop handling the repairs does not share its data with the vehicle history companies, it will not appear on a report either. So a vehicle could have frame damage and you would not know it by just reading the report. That said, we still recommend running a vehicle history report before driving across town to see a car in person.
Vehicle history reports list salvage titles and other potential problems with used vehicles. The information is a good first step for used-car buyers, but it's critical to have a mechanic inspect the car, too. And if you're shopping for a used car on the private-party market, you'll likely be the one paying for the reports. But if you're shopping at car dealerships, it's a different story.
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Most major used-car dealers and some car-selling sites will provide a free Carfax report or AutoCheck report. You can find many of these vehicles on the Edmunds used-car inventory page or on dealership websites. If you find yourself on the used-car lot and want to know the history of a particular vehicle, just ask for a report.
CarFax Vehicle History Report | Used Cars Oshawa
All dealers have vehicle history report subscriptions, usually for either AutoCheck or Carfax, and will run a free report for interested buyers. This report becomes a valuable source of third-party information. If the dealer refuses to run a vehicle history report or provides an outdated report, it could be a red flag. No matter whether you're shopping private-party sellers or at a dealership, it's good to know what you'll get — and what you won't — in these reports.
Here's a look at AutoCheck versus Carfax, along with some other providers, and our experience in how they stack up. Carfax is the most well-known provider of vehicle history reports, dating back to the late s, when it faxed reports to its customers. However, it is also the most expensive.
Despite being the most expensive service, the Carfax report is the benchmark for all other vehicle history reports. We've found it to be the most detailed and user-friendly among the vehicle history reports we tested. If a vehicle has had multiple owners, that's clearly labeled and organized in different sections. Carfax is also the only report to show maintenance dates and records, provided the vehicle was taken to a repair facility that shares its data, which usually means a franchised dealership service department.
This information can serve as a guide to what issues the vehicle might have had. It also is an indicator that a prior owner took good care of the vehicle. Our opinion: Carfax is pricey but worth it, given that it has the most detailed and user-friendly reports. For many, a clean Carfax report is the first step in getting a good used car.
AutoCheck, owned by Experian, is notable for providing a vehicle "score" — a number and a range — such as 85 out of a range of This score shows how the vehicle compares to other similar cars built that year. It is meant to be a quick way to identify and eliminate vehicles that might have issues, ranging from high mileage to reported accidents. The scale isn't zero to , which can be confusing. Sounds like a good car, doesn't it?
But this Civic was in a major accident, declared a total loss and issued a salvage title, according to the report. The number that matters is the range and, from there, where the particular car scores. In this case, the range for similar Civics was The one we were checking, with a score of 82, was 6 points below the bottom of the range — not a great bet for a used car, in other words.
It scored 25 out of a range of Six points seemed to be the deduction for having a salvage title, but the numbers weren't clearly explained. In the past, AutoCheck charged that for unlimited reports. Our opinion: Although it doesn't quite have the name recognition of Carfax, AutoCheck is worth a look. It's a less expensive alternative for shoppers who plan on running numerous reports.
The vehicle score is nice as a quick reference, but don't put too much stock in it. Run by the federal Department of Justice, the system is the only one that's publicly available in the U.
Why CarFax is Not Always Accurate
It is a less expensive alternative, but based on our experience, you get what you pay for. You won't find any fancy scores or detailed entries of any type in these history reports. These sites should only be used to determine when and where the vehicle was registered and to find out if a branded title was issued.
Our opinion: We would only recommend using this resource to determine if the car you're interested in has a branded title. And even then, it is best used as a secondary check. Save your money for a report from AutoCheck or Carfax. We tested more than a dozen vehicles to see if we could spot any differences and comment on which was the easiest to use.
Here's what we found: In our checks, AutoCheck's data was less comprehensive and detailed than Carfax's. For example: We ran a report on a Kia Optima with a salvage title.